Consumer NZ backs review into Retirement Villages Act

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Consumer NZ supports recommendations by the country’s Retirement Commissioner to review the New Zealand Retirement Villages Act.

A Consumer NZ survey of 1,680 village residents found 63% were unhappy their agreement didn’t allow them to get any capital gains when their retirement unit was sold. The survey also found low satisfaction among respondents with the fairness and readability of village contracts.

Consumer NZ said a recent review of retirement village contracts found contract terms favoured village operators and risked leaving residents unfairly out of pocket.

Among its submission, Consumer NZ said residents were deprived the opportunity to benefit from any capital gain when their occupation licence was sold, despite being required to contribute to the property’s upkeep.

“Consumer NZ believes a review of retirement villages legislation is needed to ensure residents are treated fairly. The vulnerability of many consumers living in retirement villages and the potential for significant financial harm from unfair terms provide strong grounds for reviewing the current framework,” the authority said in a statement.